Welcome to Must Read, where we single out the best stories from around the automotive universe and beyond. Today we've got reports from Found Michigan, Maximum Attack and Gigaom.
Katie Fehrenbacher, she of the exceptional Fisker piece, takes a pass at people who once took glee in saying bad things about Tesla who are now pointedly doing the opposite.
We are not singled out in this article, which I appreciate, because I'd argue our coverage is fairly consistent. When Tesla does something good, we note it. When they're wrong, we note that, too. The bias is towards reality as we perceive it, which is not always consistent with the reality that Elon Musk tries to create.
If our coverage seems to have slowly edged towards being more positive it's because the company has slowly edged towards being more successful. Or, as Fehrenbacher puts it:
It’s not that electric cars won’t struggle (see my long investigative piece on Fisker), but that many people just don’t get how the ecosystem, technology, and marketplace work and are so quick to make declarations about electric cars for the sole purpose of getting attention and — if you’re a blogger — page views. Tesla has actually emerged as a success story, not in the last week, but gradually over a decade by overcoming hurdles every day.
2013 - American Le Mans Series, Laguna Seca. – Maximum Attack
Jeremy Clarkson and Top Gear producer Andy Wilman have argued that they made The Stig silent because race car drivers never say anything worth listening to. We disagree, obviously. Here driver Mike Hedlund breaks down a weekend in the life of a driver in a top level series.
On my second lap during the final practice session I clipped the tall red FIA curbing at the inside of Turn 6. It’s there for a reason (to keep us from short cutting!), but man is it big and harsh! After I hit it, I kept my foot in it all the way up the hill while radio’ing in to the team that I smacked the hell out of the left front and that we needed to check it out. As I put on the brakes to enter the corkscrew, the front left tire collapsed (in 5th gear!) and most of my deceleration collapsed with it! I went straight off into the gravel at the top of the hill. Luckily once I came to a stop, I managed to get the car moving by doing my best ninja impression w/ the clutch and was able to get out of the gravel trap on my own without a tow (which would have ruined the practice session for everyone else).
Jiffy, Remixed – Found Michigan
Jiffy is another company you may not realize is based in Michigan, which makes more than just cars. Although the guy who runs the company did race in seven Indy 500s.
Ask Howdy to name the moment he “became” a race car driver, and he’ll tell you, in the same guru-like way he answers questions about the Corny’s existential state, it was moment he declared himself to be one. That is, when he bought that Ford, without knowing a lick about racing except that he liked it. He picked up the manual for the Ford Cortina engine from Ulrich’s Bookstore in Ann Arbor and brought the single-seater home, where some of the guys at Jiffy had built him a 12-by-20-foot plywood garage and a workbench. He didn’t even read the manual—just looked at the pictures—and set himself to tearing the engine apart and putting it back together again. “Most people who get into racing start by racing go-karts or motorcycles when they’re kids,” he says. “But I was never a motorhead. My two interests were sports and girls. I didn’t fiddle-faddle with lawn mower engines. So I kind of did it all backwards.”